US Pullout Date Nears, But Iraqis Are Skeptical

No real withdrawal of troops is expected

Recent reports on the deal to withdraw US combat forces from Iraq suggest that the process is just 15 days away. The hope is that they would be completed before the December 31 deadline, as Iraq’s military assures.

That’s what the Iraqis want, but informed by the last 17+ years of US occupation, most are very skeptical. They’ve a right to be, too, as the Pentagon has already said troops will remain in Iraq beyond December 31.

Analysts say there will be no real withdrawal in December, but rather the US will just change the name of the mission and try to spin it as something else. Effectively, Iraq will see a withdrawal only on paper.

Past times when the US did this, they went to substantial effort to spin this as keeping promises. This time around, it seems they’re leaving it up to Iraq’s military to manage the narrative.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of